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Old 12-19-2008, 05:48 PM   #1
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Plaster question


Well, today at lunch time, part of my living-room ceiling came down. Instead of using "blueboard", I am going to use the wire lath, and I know that the first coat of plaster (scratch coat) is the type that looks like mortar. Well, I need to get some. What is the actual name I use when going to the place to buy it. There is a supply house less than a mile from my house, so I plan on buying it tomorrow. Also, can you give me the actual "names" to what I want to buy? Is the 2nd (brown coat) and 3rd coal called finish plaster?

I would appreciate knowing exactly what I should ask for. The ceiling is going to be a sculputured look, so having a smooth finish is not what I am looking for, so hopefully my lack of experience in doing plaster work will not stick out like a sore thumb.

Thanks guys!

Bofus

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Old 12-19-2008, 06:50 PM   #2
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Plaster question


Bofus Mosby:

You should ask them what kind of "base coat" plasters they sell, and see if you can get Domtar Perlite Admix Hardwall. I like it a lot more than the Canadian Gypsum Company's "Structolite".

For the top coat, you're wanting to ask for what used to be called "guaging coat plaster", and I think nowadays people just refer to it as the top coat plaster.

Just tell them you're house has plaster walls and you want to see if you can master the dying art of applying real plaster. They're not going to think that's odd. Most plaster repairs are done with drywall and drywall joint compounds, and it's not common to find anyone that works with real plaster anymore because it's so much more difficult to work with. Just tell them you want to try working with real plaster and ask them which are the most popular base coat and top coat plasters they sell.

Speaking of difficult to work with, you're probably not going to like working with either the base coat or finish coat plasters. I wanted to learn to plaster as well, and it was a wasted effort. The top coat plaster had to be worked within a certain amount of time before it would "kick" and become hard to smooth. I'd have to keep misting the plaster surface in order to keep it workable. And, it dries so much harder than drywall joint compound, sanding is out of the question. You have to get it smooth to begin with. The only saving grace here is that finish plaster is easier to spread smooth than drywall joint compound.

My recommendation is to buy the smallest quantities you can because you're going to find that spreading real top coat plaster in not at all fun or easy. Base coat plaster is easier to work with, but not the top coat stuff.

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Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 12-19-2008 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:18 PM   #3
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Plaster question


Thank you Nester for the reply. I know all about how difficult it is, and believe me, if I had to plaster a smooth surface, I would probably use "blue-board" and venier plaster instead. Well, take a look at the photo. This is the texture I am aiming for. The exact opposite of smooth. Also, can you make any recommendations on how to duplicate this texture? It looks as if they may have used some sort of brush or something, to press it up on the ceiling, and slowly pulling it downward to get the effect. My house is a historical one, so I am trying to keep as much of the original as possible, and match what is already there. I plan on using a circular saw to "square" off the existing plaster, then putting blocks above the plaster to mount the existing edges. I will be using plaster washers for this.

I appreciate any and all suggestions!

Bofus
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